Culture / News & Politics

2012 rocked! (Highlights in Argentina’s path to equality) 2012 Reconocimiento Igualitario

I realized this is my last post in 2012. I wanted to make a video with this year’s highlights but so many things happened that it’s taking way longer than I expected so I decided to pick the best moment in 2012. I’ve mentioned a loophole in same-sex marriage laws in Argentina and Mexico: kids who were born before these laws were approved were not registered as children of their two moms. Well, this year President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner ruled an Emergency Decree to amend this!

For a couple of years now, Lesmadres and Cien por ciento have been running a campaign called “Reconocimiento Igualitario.” During the early stages of the marriage equality debate in 2010, the lack of visibility of LGBT families was an issue. They were saying we shouldn’t be able to adopt, and failed to see that adoption as a couple is not the only way to have children for us; there were many lesbian families and their families were not legally recognized. In my humble opinion, this is due to lesbian invisibility, and that’s one of the issues I have with calling same-sex marriage “gay marriage.” When you say “gay” most people think of gay men, or at least that’s how it felt during the debate. And since surrogacy is not an option here yet, some people kept thinking they could get to decide whether we should have kids or not.

The whole thing evolved, and the media started speaking of marriage equality (or matrimonio igualitario) instead of naming same-sex marriages as a separate entity from heterosexual marriages–hence the name of our campaign.

One of the first things we did was to create an online Registry of families to get an idea of the total number of families, along with their legal situation. Also, our families were taken into account in the 2010 National Census (but those results came later). It turned out there were hundreds of families that fell in this loophole, so we made our number one priority to solve this for every family. The majority could or would get married, so that became our main focus: protecting kids who were born before marriage equality and whose parents got married afterwards.

Here’s a video of the Registry launch (requires Adobe Flash plugin):

We wanted a solution for all families at once, because doing it through legal, individual channels takes too long and is such a burden for each family; also, a bad ruling could be bad for all families. After much effort we worked on a project for a decree with the Ministry of Interior, and the president signed DNU 1006/2012 in July.  That was my favourite moment in 2012.

After that the Province of Santa Fe (that’s where I live) ruled that kids with two unmarried moms must be registered with their two moms, and we are working now to make that happen nationwide.

Here are some videos of the media coverage:

Canal 13

Canal 7

Télam (Gender Identity Law + DNU 1006/2012)

From the Official Pink House Youtube channel (Gender Identity Law + DNU 1006/2012)

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  1. It’s international Tuesday here at LF! (I just realized we post on the same day).

    Thanks for the update. I think it is interesting that you point out use of gay marriage causing/ amplifying lesbian invisibility. I do think, particularly in Latin America lesbians are much less visible than gay male counterparts. I think this is a combination of increase violence against gay men (the whole macho attitude comes into play) but also lesbians being seen as erotic and/or not seen because physical closeness (to some extent) is more the norm than say in the US.

    Granted, this is my limited experience. Feel free to disagree.

  2. International Tuesday, indeed! Hehehe!

    I agree… but I think there may be more to it than that and I’m not quite sure I can point out what it is. Even though things are changing pretty fast, gender stereotypes are still too strong. I find the “being seen as erotic” thing very violent, I think it’s a consequence of gender stereotypes and sexism, a lot of people here still think women are on earth only to entertain straight men…

    It’s especially disappointing when lesbian invisibility happens in LGBT spaces. This year I gave up some meetings and other activism events because I felt the opinions of lesbians were not taken into account and I got tired of sounding or trying not to sound like the angry lesbian all the time and I got tired of things going nowhere. Sometimes they are aware of lesbian invisibility as an issue and act like they care, but they really don’t (and that’s my least favorite moment in 2012, ha!)

  3. Oh, I forgot! If you have the time, I recommend this: Contrucción del lesbianismo en la Argentina

    It’s a chapter of a great book. A friend from lesmadres wrote it.

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